Donald Judd’s Untitled (88-31 Bernstein), Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey
Look at what’s reflecting. My love, it’s us beamed back from the gold rim of the box. Look at what’s reflecting. My love, your parents don’t know me at all and maybe I don’t know me at all but you see us all on the side of the box anyway, next to each other. When a family stares at the same stack. When a reflection stretches & blurs. When no one says to any one why they aren’t happy.
My friend Abbas and I have a goal to have one day pooped at all of the Ivy League schools. You’re #3, Princeton. As if defecation could make humble all this gold gilt. Nothing about my body makes this place any more real to me. If I don’t see a few river birch outside then I don’t know how to fit in. New Jersey is a funhouse mirror. Donald, you’re from where I’m from; no wonder your stack sees the same distortion.
There’s a green plexiglass center within the seamless bounds of mirror. When mirror ends & box begins or does it. My love, how did you learn to see here and did it help you see plexiglass behind that beard I had in that moment, underneath that tarp of a tshirt? My love, two years since we visited Princeton with your parents (who still can’t get my pronouns right), is what I am seeing in our bathroom mirror how I seem to you? Was it how I seemed back then, distorted? Look at what’s reflecting.
Berry Grass is originally from Kansas City, got their MFA in Tuscaloosa, and now lives & teaches writing in Philadelphia. Their essays appear in The Normal School, The Wanderer, Barrelhouse, and Sonora Review, among other publications. When they aren't reading submissions as the Nonfiction Editor of Sundog Lit, they are embodying what happens when a Virgo watches too much professional wrestling.